Iseyin Dam Irrigation activities are yet to reach their peak at the Ikere Gorge dam in Iseyin, Oyo State, about 36 years since the dam became operational.
The dam, managed by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, was constructed to, among other things, provide water for irrigation activities in the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.
But when Daily Trust visited the dam recently, only few irrigation activities were noticed around the almost four-decades-old dam.
The Project Manager of the dam, Engineer Akingbade Sunday Isaac, told our reporter that the geographical location of the dam was a contributory factor for the low level of irrigation activities around it.
“The dam is surrounded by hills and hard land, which make farming a bit difficult,” he stated.
He said because of that, the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority came with the idea of setting up the middle Ogun irrigation project located between Iseyin and Oyo town.
Engineer Akingbade said the project covers about 12,000 hectares of irrigable land and has been allocated to farmers, adding that based on request, the dam supplied the project site with raw water.
But when this reporter visited the site, the project manager was said to be away and was denied access.
However, the dam project manager, Engineer Akingbade, said about 20 hectares have been set aside for what he called Centre Pivot Irrigation system, which he explained would commence operation late this month.
He said allocation of the farmland to farmers has commenced and would soon be completed for immediate take off of the project.
Engineer Akingbade also said that the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority has distributed pumping machines to some local farmers in the area to enable them pump water from the dam to their nearby farms, adding that some of them are now growing maize with water from the dam.
One of the benefitting farmers said he now grows about a hectare of maize with water from the dam. He however decried fuel scarcity which, he said, is preventing the farmers from operating the pumping machines to water their farms as at when due.